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Brazil's antitrust watchdog approves Vale's purchase of Ferrous Resources

Sao Paulo — Brazil's Cade antitrust agency approved Vale's acquisition of Ferrous Resources, despite port authority Porto Sudeste's argument that it could bring anticompetitive effects to the port and iron ore markets.

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"Vale has no capacity to close the port market for iron ore producers in the Southeast region, because there are other shipping options," Alexandre Cordeiro, the agency's general superintendent, said in his decision Monday.

Brazilian integrated steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional and Porto Sudeste filed a complaint in early May to the antitrust agency about Vale's acquisition of Ferrous Resources, arguing it could bring anticompetitive effects to the market because Vale already accounts for nearly 80% of Brazilian iron ore production, along with a number of logistics assets.

Vale entered an agreement to acquire Ferrous Resources for $550 million in December 2018. Ferrous Resources has about 4 million mt/year of iron ore production capacity and recently adapted its plants for high quality pellet feed production, although commercial operations have not yet started.

Ferrous owns five mineral assets in the iron quadrangle of Minas Gerais and one operation in Bahia state.

Vale said previously that buying Ferrous Resources will generate logistics synergies to exploit and incorporate into its existing infrastructure.

-- Adriana Carvalho, adriana.carvalho@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, newsdesk@spglobal.com